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Rumored Paul Pogba sale to Barcelona makes sense for everyone

If Pogba wants to go to Barcelona, Juventus will have to sell him eventually. If they do it right now, they get money up front for a player who's still going to be on their team next season. Everybody wins.

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The rumor mill is ablaze with Barcelona's efforts to get their hands on Paul Pogba. They've had a bid of €80 million rejected by Juventus -- that comes straight from chairman Beppe Marotta -- but the feeling is that Barcelona are far from done in their efforts to land the 22-year-old, who they met in the Champions League final.

But wait, you ask, aren't Barcelona banned from buying players right now? Well, yes. Kind of. The ban is actually on Barcelona registering new players until this coming January, but they can still buy players and loan them elsewhere in order to let them keep playing.

That is, supposedly, exactly what Barcelona are planning on doing. They would buy Pogba for whatever fee north of €80 million for which Juventus are willing to settle, loan him back to the Italian champions for next season, then bring him into the fold in Spain next summer. That would make perfect sense for everyone.

Not only would Barcelona get their hands on a player who could take their midfield from "outstanding" to "greatest of all time," but Juventus would get to have him for another season and get a huge pile of cash to boot. There may even be a handshake deal in place, or so Catalan media outlet would have us think.

How realistic such a signing is a matter of some debate, however. Signing Pogba is the main focus of Joan Laporta, one of the candidates running for Barcelona's vacant presidential seat. If he doesn't win the July 18 election, it's uncertain how aggressively Barcelona will move for Pogba. If Laporta does win, though, a deal becomes all the more likely thanks to his close friendship with Pogba's agent, football power broker Mino Raiola.

Of course, just because it makes sense doesn't mean that a move will happen, at least not right away. We're still a a long way from anything actually happening on an official level between Barcelona and Juventus, and the Italian team has been very firm in saying that they're not selling Pogba. That's a stance that Marotta and Juventus can afford to hold to for the time being.

Barcelona's registration ban gives Juve all the leverage in the world to suck every last dime out of the Catalans. In normal situations, a player has the option of sitting out of training and games in order to force a move, but Pogba won't do that in this situation. It doesn't matter if he's sold to Barcelona tomorrow or Marotta says they'll never, ever sell him -- either way, he's playing for Juventus this season.

Barcelona are willing to throw an awful lot of money at Juventus to get a deal done, so it might wind up being too hard to say no. Barca want him desperately, Pogba wants to play for them, and Juve could certainly use the money, even if they don't absolutely need it to compete. Whether this happens this summer or next, it will almost certainly happen eventually -- if Pogba won't sign a contract extension, Juventus would be silly to let his deal run down and his transfer fee evaporate. The only question is just how much money they end up getting.